Ecclesiastes 5:18
New International Version
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them--for this is their lot.

New Living Translation
Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.

English Standard Version
Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.

Berean Study Bible
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of life that God has given him—for this is his lot.

King James Bible
Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

New King James Version
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.

New American Standard Bible
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink, and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he labors under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.

NASB 1995
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.

NASB 1977
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.

Amplified Bible
Behold, here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun during the few days of his life which God gives him—for this is his [allotted] reward.

Christian Standard Bible
Here is what I have seen to be good: It is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward.

American Standard Version
Behold, that which I have seen to be good and to be comely is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, wherein he laboreth under the sun, all the days of his life which God hath given him: for this is his portion.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This thing I, the Preacher, have seen: it is good and beautiful to eat and to drink and to see good in all his labor that he labored under the sun, the numbers of the days of his life, the days LORD JEHOVAH gives to him, for that is his portion

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Behold, I have seen good, that it is a fine thing for a man to eat and to drink, and to see good in all his labour in which he may labour under the sun, all the number of the days of his life which God has given to him: for it is his portion.

Contemporary English Version
What is the best thing to do in the short life God has given us? I think we should enjoy eating, drinking, and working hard. This is what God intends for us to do.

Douay-Rheims Bible
This therefore hath seemed good to me, that a man should eat and drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, wherewith he hath laboured under the sun, all the days of his life, which God hath given him: and this is his portion.

English Revised Version
Behold, that which I have seen to be good and to be comely is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labour, wherein he laboureth under the sun, all the days of his life which God hath given him: for this is his portion.

Good News Translation
Here is what I have found out: the best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for during the short life that God has given us; this is our fate.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At last I have seen what is good and beautiful: It is to eat and drink and to enjoy the good in all our hard work under the sun during the brief lives God gives us. That is our lot [in life].

International Standard Version
Look! I observed that it is good and prudent to eat, drink, and enjoy all that is good of a person's work that he does on earth during the limited days of his life, which God gives him, for this is his allotment.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold that which I have seen: it is good, yea, it is comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy pleasure for all his labour, wherein he laboureth under the sun, all the days of his life which God hath given him; for this is his portion.

Literal Standard Version
Behold, that which I have seen: [It is] good, because beautiful, to eat, and to drink, and to see good in all one’s labor that he labors at under the sun, the number of the days of his life that God has given to him, for it [is] his portion.

NET Bible
I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward.

New Heart English Bible
Look, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.

World English Bible
Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, that which I have seen: It is good, because beautiful, to eat, and to drink, and to see good in all one's labour that he laboureth at under the sun, the number of the days of his life that God hath given to him, for it is his portion.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Futility of Wealth
17Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger. 18Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of life that God has given him— for this is his lot. 19Furthermore, God has given riches and wealth to every man, and He has enabled him to enjoy them, to accept his lot, and to rejoice in his labor. This is a gift from God.…

Cross References
1 Corinthians 16:16
to submit to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.

Deuteronomy 12:7
There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your households shall eat and rejoice in all you do, because the LORD your God has blessed you.

Deuteronomy 12:18
Instead, you must eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose--you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levite within your gates. Rejoice before the LORD your God in all you do,

Deuteronomy 26:11
So you shall rejoice--you, the Levite, and the foreigner dwelling among you--in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.

Psalm 42:8
The LORD decrees His loving devotion by day, and at night His song is with me as a prayer to the God of my life.

Ecclesiastes 2:3
I sought to cheer my body with wine and to embrace folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom--until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 2:10
Anything my eyes desired, I did not deny myself. I refused my heart no pleasure. For my heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.

Ecclesiastes 2:24
Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commended the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be merry. For this joy will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.


Treasury of Scripture

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives him: for it is his portion.

it is good and comely

Ecclesiastes 2:24
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13,22
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life…

Ecclesiastes 8:15
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

the days

Ecclesiastes 2:10
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

Ecclesiastes 3:22
Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Jeremiah 52:34
And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.









(18) The Preacher is led back to the conclusion at which he had arrived (Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 3:12; Ecclesiastes 3:22).

Verses 18-20. - Section 8. The inconveniences of wealth lead the writer back to his old conclusion, that man should make the best of life, and enjoy all the good that God gives with moderation and contentment. Verse 18. - Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely, etc. The accentuation is against this rendering, which, however, has the support of the Syriac and the Targum. The Septuagint gives, Ἰδοὺ εϊδον ἐγὼ ἀγαθὸν ὅ ἐστι καλόν, "Behold, I have seen a good which is comely;" and it is best to translate, with Delitzsch and others, "Behold, what I have seen as good, what as beautiful, is this." My conclusion holds good. They who seek for traces of Greek influence in Koheleth find Epicureanism in the sentiment, and the familiar combination, καλὸν κἀγαθὸν, in the language. Both ideas are baseless. (For supposed Epicureanism, see on Ecclesiastes 2:24 and Ecclesiastes 3:12.) And the juxtaposition of καλὸς and ἀγαθὸς is only a fortuitous rendering of the Hebrew, upon which no argument for Grecism can be founded. To eat and to drink, etc.; i.e. to use the common blessings which God bestows with thankfulness and contentment. As St. Paul says, "Having food and covering, we shall he therewith content" (1 Timothy 6:8). Which God giveth him. This is the point so often insisted upon. These temporal blessings are God's gifts, and are not to be considered as the natural and assured result of man's own exertions. Man, indeed, must labor, but God giveth the increase. For it is his portion (Ecclesiastes 3:22). This calm enjoyment is allotted to man by God, and nothing more must be expected. Ben-Sira gives similar advice, "Defraud not thyself of a good day, and let not the share in a right pleasure pass by thee Give, and take, and beguile thy soul; for there is no seeking of dainties in Hades" (Ecclus. 14:14. etc.).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Here
הִנֵּ֞ה (hin·nêh)
Interjection
Strong's 2009: Lo! behold!

is what
אֲשֶׁר־ (’ă·šer-)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

I
אָ֗נִי (’ā·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's 589: I

have seen
רָאִ֣יתִי (rā·’î·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 7200: To see

to be good
ט֣וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

and fitting:
יָפֶ֣ה (yā·p̄eh)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 3303: Fair, beautiful

to eat
לֶֽאֶכוֹל־ (le·’e·ḵō·wl-)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 398: To eat

and drink,
וְ֠לִשְׁתּוֹת (wə·liš·tō·wṯ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 8354: To imbibe

and to find
וְלִרְא֨וֹת (wə·lir·’ō·wṯ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 7200: To see

satisfaction
טוֹבָ֜ה (ṭō·w·ḇāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

in all
בְּכָל־ (bə·ḵāl)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

the labor
עֲמָל֣וֹ ׀ (‘ă·mā·lōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 5999: Toil, wearing effort, worry, wheth, of body, mind

one does
שֶׁיַּעֲמֹ֣ל (še·ya·‘ă·mōl)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5998: To toil, work severely and with irksomeness

under
תַּֽחַת־ (ta·ḥaṯ-)
Preposition
Strong's 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

the sun
הַשֶּׁ֗מֶשׁ (haš·še·meš)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's 8121: The sun, the east, a ray, a notched battlement

during the few
מִסְפַּ֧ר (mis·par)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 4557: A number, definite, indefinite, narration

days
יְמֵי־ (yə·mê-)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 3117: A day

of life
חַיָּ֛יו‪‬‪‬ (ḥay·yāw)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life

that
אֲשֶׁר־ (’ă·šer-)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

God
הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

has given him?
נָֽתַן־ (nā·ṯan-)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5414: To give, put, set

for
כִּי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

this
ה֥וּא (hū)
Pronoun - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

is his lot.
חֶלְקֽוֹ׃ (ḥel·qōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 2506: Portion, tract, territory


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
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